Science, politics and policy often make for a wicked mix, says commentator Adam Frank. Understanding each for what it really is should help put us on the path to making better decisions for our future.
We live in a world where science and technology are driving forces, shaping the trajectory of human culture. From climate change to energy resources to doping in sports, how should the science we discover inform policy and politics?
Has new tracking technology put us on a slippery slope toward microchipping our own children? Commentator Barbara J. King worries that it has, and asks if this practice is healthy for kids and parents alike.
Numbers tell a story. Would you believe that you're less likely to get the story right the smarter you are? Sometimes that's the case and commentator Alva Noë sees this finding as an argument in favor of an education system that trains our children to be good thinkers, not just good calculators.
A question fit for Halloween: Why has there been so much resistance to an Alabama man burying his wife, at her request, in their front yard? Anthropologist Barbara J. King digs into our relationship with the dead.
The site of an infamous yearly dolphin hunt in Japan may also soon become the site of a marine park where tourists could swim with dolphins and small whales. The catch? Money generated by the park would help support the annual cetacean slaughter. Commentator Barbara J. King calls the proposed park indefensible.
Globalization has opened the door to opportunities that didn't exist before. Its interdependent networks of people and machines produce goods and wealth unknown until now. But with the bounty comes a price: the possibility that systemic failures can cascade across the globe with devastating consequences.
While the shutdown of the federal government means some research facilities have gone dark, commentator Adam Frank says the real threat to our national interest is the possibility that generations of would-be scientists will be lost to other pursuits if the funding to train new generations of scientists dries up.
Recently the media had a field day with reports of a "sexist" male gorilla in Dallas named Patrick. Anthropologist Barbara King reflects on whether terms like "sexism" and "rape" are used justifiably when describing our evolutionary cousins the apes.
The fear of science run amok has been with us as long as the practice itself. But who decides what are the reasonable ethical boundaries for science? Commentator Marcelo Gleiser grabs ahold of this question and advises that blindly placing constraints on certain types of inquiry will not save us from Pandora's Box. We have to be smarter than that.
Astrophysicist Adam Frank rings in the new school year with a meditation on the choice between kicking it old school with chalk on a blackboard or going new school with the latest classroom technologies.
When children have so little experience of nature that they fear butterflies, how should we respond? That's the question anthropologist Barbara J. King asks after reading about a new garden at the Dallas Arboretum focused on educating kids.
Forceful voices, like that of pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, insist that eating sugar is highly toxic. More moderate voices from science aren't so sure that's the case. Barbara J. King offers her own view of the ongoing controversy about diet, health and obesity.
If you had a traumatic memory lodged in your brain, would you zap it away if you could? In the wake of last week's news that false memories were implanted in laboratory mice, commentator Barbara J. King considers the potential effects of intervening with memory formation in our own brains.
Genetically modified crops are here to stay. How should we react? Commentator Marcelo Gleiser says it's time for scientists to take a larger role in the debate, bringing what we know out into the light and asking the important questions that are yet to be answered.
Doping in sports is back in the news. And once again we are reminded that our attitudes on the topic are complicated and not entirely transparent even to ourselves. Commentator Alva Noë wonders where we draw the line when it comes to altering our physical and chemical selves.